- Eli Kantor
- Beverly Hills, California, United States
- Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com
Thursday, December 23, 2010
without probable cause or arrest warrants. They detained 11 people for between 3 and 27 days before they were released. The 11 plaintiffs sued the federal government, immigration agents who conducted the raid, and the agents' supervisors for violating their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, as well as negligent supervision and hiring. U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill upheld the Fifth Amendment equal protection claims and the Fourth Amendment charges against four of the supervisors. "The plaintiffs have alleged that the defendant officers targeted a primarily Latino neighborhood, arrested people who appeared Latino, detained one plaintiff solely because he spoke Spanish and appeared Latino, and taunted one plaintiff's girlfriend by saying the plaintiffs were being taken to see Mexican singer Juan Gabriel," Underhill wrote. "That is enough to plausibly allege that the defendants were motivated by a discriminatory purpose." The plaintiffs can also obtain additional discovery to support their claims for negligent training and supervision, the judge ruled.
A path to legal status for illegal residents might not happen soon, the president agrees in a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. But he says he's not giving up.
Los Angeles Times: President Obama and Latino lawmakers greed Tuesday that chances are dimming for passage of an immigration overhaul that would provide a path to legal status for millions of illegal residents, according to people familiar with the private session. Instead, the president and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus concurred that, until after the 2012 election, a more realistic goal would be to stave off legislation targeting illegal immigrants. That said, Obama told the group, he was not giving up on an immigration overhaul, which he promised to accomplish during his 2008 presidential campaign. He said he would mention the issue in his State of the Union address next month, a move that Democrats hope might pressure Republicans into accommodating the fast-growing Latino voting bloc. "The reality is, we're no longer on the House side in charge of the agenda,'' said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D- Texas), who attended the meeting. "We would never have had a vote on the Dream Act if the Republicans were in charge. So we need to understand that.''
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
U.S.A. Today: A U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot and killed along the Southwestern border last week, marking the second time in as many years that an agent was gunned down along the border with Mexico. The shooting prompted politicians from both parties, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, to emphasize the dangers faced by the 20,000 Border Patrol agents and thousands of other law enforcement officers who patrol the border. Records from a police memorial group and the federal government paint a clearer picture of how violent the border truly is. Fourteen Border Patrol agents have died since 2006, and records obtained by USA TODAY show that agents shot and killed 20 people in that time. CONFIRMATION: Napolitano says gang killed border agent in battle
Lt. Jeff Palmer, who founded the Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office border crime section, said they face armed smugglers, constant assaults by immigrants throwing rocks and a rugged terrain that makes apprehending people, and defending yourself, extremely hard.
"It's a violent, violent place out there, and people are utilizing whatever means they can to avoid apprehension," Palmer said. Christian Ramirez of American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that tracks border violence, said the blame lies on both sides of the border. Ramirez said smuggling cartels trying to push their goods into the U.S. are clashing with an ever-expanding collection of law enforcement officers on the U.S. side, leaving illegal immigrants simply looking for work caught in the crossfire.
Immigration policy is complicated, but passage of the DREAM Act should have been easy. Supporters must continue to press their cause.
Los Angeles Times: Bernard Pastor of Ohio, brought to this country at age 3, is fighting an order of deportation to Guatemala. Hector Lopez of Oregon is in detention after being deported to Mexico and trying to return to his family in the United States, his home since the age of 6 weeks. What Pastor and Lopez have in common is that they grew up pledging allegiance to the United States, have never lived anywhere else and for all intents and purposes are American. They and thousands like them would have been assisted by the DREAM Act, which offered a conditional pathway to citizenship to young illegal immigrants who attend college or serve in the military. Unfortunately — worse than that, immorally and cruelly — the Senate failed to pass the bill. Although polls showed that the public supported it, and the Congressional Budget Office calculated that its passage would add $2 billion in new tax revenue annually, and a majority of senators were ready to vote "aye," as had their colleagues in the House, a Republican minority and a handful of Democrats blocked the bill from coming to a vote. This is a sad moment for young people like Pastor and Lopez, who were hoping for a reprieve. To secure a future in the United States, undocumented students outed themselves online, in news stories, on their college campuses. University graduates told of working as waitresses and dishwashers even though they hold advanced degrees. They demonstrated at senators' offices and fasted in the tradition of Cesar Chavez. Saturday morning, they cried in the corridors of Congress.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Opponents of the measure, similar to Arizona's suspended law, fear alienating the fastest-growing voting bloc and further hampering the party's ability to win elections in the state.
Los Angeles Times: A nascent California ballot measure that seeks to replicate Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants is dividing the state's Republicans, with a number of prominent strategists and leaders fearing that it could further harm their party's already fraught relationship with Latinos — the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. It's unclear whether the ballot's backers will have the financial resources to gather enough signatures to place the measure on the 2012 ballot. Several Republicans said that even the effort to do so has the potential to increase the chasm between the party's candidates and the voting bloc whose record-breaking turnout tilted races in November and delivered a clean Democratic statewide sweep in a year in which Republicans celebrated major victories in the rest of the nation. They equated it to 1994's Proposition 187, which would have stopped illegal immigrants from receiving any state services had it not been largely voided by the courts. "It's completely counterproductive to the future of the party as well as counterproductive to the immigration debate and coming to a real solution," said Rob Stutzman, a GOP strategist who advised failed gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. "It allows those who make a living off the demagoguing of immigrants to continue to do so." Supporters of the measure counter that the party's nominees suffered deep losses because the party has no clear message on immigration. "I think a greater damage to the future of the party in this state is that we have no position or message on immigration," said Mike Spence, a conservative Republican activist. "That to me is the bigger problem. I don't see how we can be damaged more than we already are."
Los Angeles Times: President Obama once favored a "crackdown on employers" who hired illegal immigrants, and as a candidate called for "much tougher enforcement standards" for companies that employed illegal workers. But this week, Obama's top courtroom lawyer will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in urging the Supreme Court to strike down an Arizona law that goes after employers who hire illegal workers. The administration also seeks to void a part of the state's law that tells employers they must check the federal government's E-Verify database to make sure their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The move sets the stage for a high court ruling on the most disputed issue in immigration law: Can states and cities enforce their own laws against illegal immigrants, or must they wait for federal authorities to act? The administration found itself in an awkward spot in part because the Legal Arizona Workers Act was signed into law in 2007 by then- Gov. Janet Napolitano. She said it would impose the "business death penalty" on employers caught a second time hiring illegal workers, and blamed "the flow of illegal immigration into our state … [on] the constant demand of some employers for cheap, undocumented labor."
Friday, December 17, 2010
Associated Press: Congress has taken the unusual step of waiving immigration restrictions for two Japanese citizens fighting to live in the United States.The private immigration bills passed by the House on Wednesday - they had already been passed by the Senate - are the first to be approved in more than five years. The measures now go to President Barack Obama for his signature. One bill would clear the way for the granting of legal status to the widow of a Tennessee Marine who gave birth to their son after he was killed in Iraq in 2008. Another would provide relief to a Japanese man living in California whose mother was killed in a car crash when he was a teenager and who was never legally adopted. "I have always seen myself as part of this whole American society, and I am American, just like my friends but without the status or papers," said the man, Shigeru Yamada, now 28. "For me to finally become, or have the potential to become a permanent resident, it means a great deal to me, it really does. I can't really express how happy I am." Congress can vote to let individual immigrants in exceptional cases live in the country legally but hasn't done so since the 108th Congress, in 2003-04. Immigrant advocates see such bills as a last resort when other efforts to obtain a green card have failed.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Washington Post (Opinion):
Dear Rep. John Boehner: Please accept congratulations from an immigrant on your victory this week. I think I speak on behalf of all immigrants when I say I was moved by your tears Tuesday night as you realized that a barkeeper's son is likely to become speaker of the House. It was a great American moment - the sort that brought so many of us here, too, through the force of our own efforts, to try to better ourselves, our families and, we hope, our country - this country, the United States of America. But there is something that worries me and most immigrants, judging from the election results. It has to do with your party. Why do Republicans make us feel like the enemy, the non-Americans, the people you want to take the country back from? Many Republicans see immigration as a Democratic plot to register new voters. And, yes, most immigrant groups today - like the Irish and Italians and others before us - tend to vote Democrat, but that is because the Democrats reach out more to us.
"Now, we've got an issue over the 14th Amendment and the birthright status, which Sen. (Russell) Pearce and Rep. (John Kavanagh), I think, are in the process of drafting a bill to deal with that situation." Pearce, the new Senate president, has suggested overturning the 14th Amendment which automatically grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. Dell'Artino said he believes a "large portion" of the 90 state lawmakers are interested in immigration-related matters, especially those who represent areas near the Arizona-Mexico border.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
A Backlash Against Foreign Workers Dims Business Hopes for Immigration Reform
The Economist: Bad as relations are between business and the Democrats, immigration was supposed to be an exception. On that topic the two have long had a marriage of convenience, with business backing comprehensive reform in order to obtain more skilled foreign workers. That, at least, was what was meant to happen. In March Chuck Schumer, a Democratic senator, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, proposed a multi-faceted reform that would toughen border controls and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants while granting two longstanding goals of business: automatic green cards (that is, permanent residence) for students who earned advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or maths in America, and an elimination of country quotas on green cards. The quotas bear no relationship to demand, leaving backlogs of eight to ten years for applicants from China and India. Barack Obama immediately announced his support.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Arizona passed the law in 2004, prompting legal challenges. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett blasted the court's decision Tuesday in a joint statement. "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a simple, common sense protection approved by Arizona voters requiring that all individuals provide evidence of U.S. citizenship prior to registering to vote. This decision is an outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections," the statement said.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
7 Republicans On Judicial Panel Demand Inquiry
Houston Chronicle: The seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday called for an investigation into the dismissal of hundreds of immigration cases in Houston, accusing Homeland Security officials of selectively enforcing the law. Texas Sen. John Cornyn and six GOP colleagues on the powerful panel wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano demanding a full report on the dismissals by Nov. 15. In early August, Homeland Security trial attorneys started filing unsolicited motions to dismiss hundreds of cases on Houston's immigration court docket involving suspected illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than two years without committing serious crimes. News of the dismissals, first reported in the Houston Chronicle in late August, caused a national controversy amid allegations that the Obama administration was implementing a kind of "backdoor amnesty" — a charge officials strongly denied.
"It appears that your department is enforcing the law based on criteria it arbitrarily chose, with complete disregard for the enforcement laws created by Congress," the senators wrote. "The repercussions of this decision extend beyond removal proceedings, because it discourages officers from even initiating new removal proceedings if they believe the case ultimately will be dismissed." According to data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which administers the nation's immigration court system, the number of dismissals in Houston courts shot up from 27 in July to 271 in August, an increase of more than 700 percent. In September, judges dismissed 174 pending cases.
Los Angeles Times: Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman lashed out at rival Jerry Brown on Thursday, accusing the Democrat and his labor allies of spreading lies among Latinos about her position on immigration as her poll numbers have plummeted among that key sector of the electorate. "It makes me mad that he's just out there telling lies," Whitman said after touring a small Latino-owned Los Angeles business that imports and manufactures decorative metal pieces for homes. "He accuses me of not being truthful. He is the one just not telling the truth on this, and it makes me mad and I'm not going to let it stand." She accused Brown and unions of running inaccurate ads and distributing mailers that say that she supported Arizona's recent crackdown on illegal immigrants and Proposition 187, the 1994 California ballot measure intended to deny undocumented residents taxpayer-funded services. Whitman has consistently said she was against both measures, a stance that cost her support in the GOP primary campaign. But the arguments advanced in ads and mailers are grounded in shards of truth: While she said she opposed a law such as Arizona's for California, she said states have the right to make such decisions. And although she has consistently said she opposed Proposition 187, she has said undocumented students should be barred from attending publicly funded universities, one of the initiative's planks. The Brown campaign responded that Whitman has consistently lied during this race.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Los Angeles Times: Latinos who are frustrated with Congress' failure to adopt comprehensive immigration reform are being targeted with a lie: that the best strategy to achieve their goal is to stop participating in the democratic process. Don't vote. Be silent. Go uncounted to teach the politicians a lesson. But that approach cannot and will not work. No group in the United States has ever forwarded its political agenda by auto-disenfranchisement. Last year there was a don't-fill-out-the-census campaign. This latest effort to marginalize Latinos has taken the form of a "Don't Vote" ad drive in Nevada, sponsored by an organization cynically misnamed Latinos for Reform. The group, led by conservative pundit and former Republican Party official Robert de Posada, is asking Latinos to punish Democrats for failing to pass immigration reform by staying home Nov. 2. If Latinos follow that advice, they will harm the reelection chances of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is locked in a tight race in Nevada. But the ads cleverly do not encourage Latinos to vote for Reid's Republican rival, Sharron Angle — a request that might backfire given that Angle has run ads demonizing illegal immigrants and supports SB 1070, Arizona's draconian anti-immigrant law.
"This person never worked for the Blunts," Chrismer said. "She simply helped out at a couple of church events.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sharron Angle Tells Hispanic Students They Look Asian; Argues Immigration Ad Not About Southern Border
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
TEXAS FULLY ADOPTS MUCH-DEBATED FEDERAL PLAN AIMED AT ALL COUNTIES BY 2013
Wall Street Journal: A federal program that scans local jails for illegal immigrants is being expanded across the state, the latest front in the nation's battle over immigration policy. In the past two weeks, Texas became the first border state to fully deploy the Department of Homeland Security program, which is scheduled to be rolled out to all U.S. counties by 2013. The program automatically routes prisoners' fingerprints to the department, which tries to determine whether they are allowed to be in the U.S. Known as Secure Communities, the program is designed to intercept and remove illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes such as homicide, rape and kidnapping, immigration officials say. But immigrant groups and lawyers argue it is also singling out immigrants with no serious criminal record, clogging up the courts. Political analysts say Secure Communities and related programs are alienating Democratic-leaning Hispanic voters from the Obama administration. "Why are we wasting funds to deport people who aren't even supposed to be targets of the program?" said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, which provides legal assistance to low-income people. Proponents of stricter immigration controls contend Secure Communities is a step in the right direction to protect the nation from dangerous illegal immigrants
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sheriff's custody assistants will continue to interview suspected undocumented inmates and pass their findings on to federal immigration officials for possible deportation under a program that began in 2006.
Los Angeles Times: Despite protests from immigrant rights advocates, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended a collaboration Tuesday with federal officials to identify illegal immigrants who wind up in county jails. Several dozen protesters attended the meeting to oppose a program in which non-sworn Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employees interview suspected undocumented inmates and pass on their findings to immigration officials for possible deportation. Many said the Sheriff's Department risks isolating the county's immigrant communities by continuing the 4-year-old program. But sheriff's officials touted the collaboration as a way to remove criminals from immigrant communities. The department resisted an initial proposal from federal officials that would have forced sheriff's employees to take on even more responsibility in processing illegal immigrants for possible deportation, including interviewing inmates before they were convicted. That practice, sheriff's officials and activists alike agreed, could have resulted in the deportation of undocumented inmates who had been jailed for crimes they did not commit. "The sheriff does not want local law enforcement to enforce federal law," department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Friday, October 08, 2010
In New Political Landscape, Incremental Approach Is in Works to Get Support for Some Proposals on Energy, Immigration
Washington Post reported that: President Barack Obama, facing at best narrower Democratic majorities in Congress next year, is likely to break up his remaining legislative priorities into smaller bites in hope of securing at least some piecemeal proposals on energy, climate change, immigration and terrorism policy, White House officials say. White House officials have begun revamping their legislative strategies. They are talking about a new, more incremental approach, championed by former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, to fulfilling campaign promises on energy, immigration and on closing the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The new White House chief of staff, Pete Rouse, is far more steeped than Mr. Emanuel in the culture of the Senate, where comprehensive approaches to some of these issues have fared poorly. White House officials hope Mr. Rouse's expertise will help navigate smaller measures through the chamber. A senior Democratic Senate aide said White House officials have indicated a willingness to push through piecemeal changes to immigration law, instead of a comprehensive bill that combines border controls and immigration law enforcement with a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Under the incremental scenario, the White House would embrace Republican proposals to step up immigration law enforcement and border and port security in exchange for measures such as the DREAM Act, which would give illegal immigrant children a path to citizenship through military or public service. White House officials could add an agricultural-workers program to that bill but put off dealing with the bulk of illegal immigrants until later.
But he hasn't had any takers, and only one farmer in the state hired anyone using a little-known, little-used program to hire foreign farmworkers the legal way — by applying for guest worker visas. Since January, California farmers have posted ads for 1,160 farmworker positions open to U.S. citizens and legal residents seeking work.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Repealing Part of the 14th Amendment Won't Fix Our Immigration Problem; Giving the Undocumented a Pathway to Citizenship Will.
Los Angeles Times (Opinion): As an attorney and supporter of immigrant rights, I tried to read with an open mind Charlotte Allen's Sept. 20 Times Op-Ed article, "A birthright that shouldn't be." Allen argued against the 14th Amendment's provision of birthright citizenship, warned of the costs associated with U.S.-born children of undocumented workers and castigated the Obama administration for failing to secure our borders. The most meaningful part of her essay was what she did not say. Out of more than 1,000 words, she devoted exactly two sentences to offering a solution to our immigration problems. Allen began by noting that if we ended birthright citizenship, "it would bring America's citizenship policies into line with those of most of the rest of the world." Sorry, but my mother never bought the "all the other kids are doing it" argument, and neither do I. The U.S. is the gold standard for the rest of the world, not the other way around. I'd prefer to keep things that way.